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NEW: sayyadina --- by darkstar (1/2)

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  • clone347@aol.com
    Title : Sayyadina Author : darkstar Email: clone347@aol.com Feedback: adored and craved Archive: Anywhere that will take me in, only please let me know who s
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2001
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      Title : Sayyadina
      Author : darkstar
      Email: clone347@...
      Feedback: adored and craved
      Archive: Anywhere that will take me in, only please let me know
      who's doing the taking so I can properly demonstrate
      gratitude.
      Codes: L/R relationship, angst, character death,
      Rating : PG-13
      Disclaimers: If Logan belong to me, do you actually think I'd be
      sitting here alone at my keyboard on a Friday night.
      I don't think so.

      Author's notes:

      This little baby was the product of too much late night book
      reading (Frank Herbert's Dune) combined with the "gentle"
      persuasion (ha!) of a very large swarm of plot bunnies. Two of them
      were hurled at me recently-- one involving Logan in an insane asylum
      mistaking his daughter for Marie, and another involving Logan and
      Marie being used to find a cure for the Legacy Virus. Alas, these two
      already rabid fiends met up with an old enemy of mine, the
      Dark Charles Plot Bunny, who has been battling for control of my mind
      ever since I read a discussion on the ruthless potential of Comic
      Xavier. I attempted to use Bunny Off but that only mutated the little
      monsters into something new and disturbing. So this is my attempt
      to exorcise all of them at once.
      Be it known that I am by no means familiar with the comicverse
      or the exact nature of the Legacy Virus, so I took some measure of
      artistic liberty. You're free to roast me if you feel the need.
      PS...some of the names in this fic are intended to pay homage to
      the brilliance that is Frank Herbert's writing. No stealing is intended.
      Merely worshipful adoration.

      Dedication: To JenN because I never told you (in public) how much
      our friendship inspires me every time I talk to you.
      This one's for you, girl, and for your awesome Bobby Muse.

      Summary : Be careful when you ask for the truth. You might just get it.


      Note: /......./ = personal thoughts
      (.........) = thoughts of other characters

      - - - - - - - - - - - - -
      Sayyadina (1/2)

      darkstar
      - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      Kindness is the beginning of cruelty.

      --- From "Dune"
      by Frank Herbert


      To my face, I am called Alia.
      Among the others, I am known as Alia of the Knife.

      This speaks of my tenth year, the fifth month, when I grew tired
      of the life planned for me and put the blade to my wrists that I
      might join my mother in the world beyond. There was blood--
      an excess of it-- but I did not die. I was not allowed the luxury.
      Thoughts within my thoughts pushed their essence through me,
      until there was no room for anything but life and destiny. Later they
      would tell me I had been in darkness for two days, though I never felt
      the passing of time. I was within time, present and past and future at
      one moment, and it was in that moment that the Other revealed how
      we became one.

      His name is Charles. His life is mine, my life is his. Two consciousness
      wrapped around a single nexus-- which is my brain-- feeding from a
      single force-- which is my body. It is said this is a gift, and even my
      mother told me such. It is said this is my destiny, but on three days
      ago I found out it was something entirely different.

      I confronted him with this fact.

      /You lied to me. You lied when you told me what I am. I was not
      born to be this thing you have created./

      (Do not be so rash in your accusations, my dear. You have my
      wisdom within you, but in some ways you are yet a child.)

      /I am not a child, I have never been a child, not even when I was
      born. You made me an old man before I drew my breath./

      (What is it you want from me?)

      /The truth. You've hid it long enough/

      A heavy sigh-- his, he assumed he had permission to commandeer of my
      lungs. A tingle at the base of my spine and a numbing of the legs
      accompanied the motion; familiar discomforts that arise every time he
      asserts his presence. There is a danger, here: the same power that
      stole his legs will steal mine if I allow him too much control.

      (Very well. You will have the truth. But I will need full control.)

      No hesitation; an X-man never hesitates. We are the sword of the
      people, we must be quick and sharp and forged of steel. That is his
      myth, but I will be the one to create a reality from it. This much I knew
      before I could walk. And he thought I would be afraid of a little
      paralysis.

      I grinned at no one, flicked the smile across the edge of my teeth.

      /Take it, then./

      And then I could not move my legs.

      * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      Part I: Charles

      At first, it hit us like wet cement thrown in the face--
      We are at war.

      Our control, our protection, was not as complete as we
      thought it was. Perhaps it was never complete at all, but the illusion
      was complex enough to provide security and even allow for moments
      of happiness. After all, were we not the heroes? Did we not deserve
      the satisfaction of being right, the assurance of knowing who we were
      and where we stood?

      It was never that easy; I realize this now but of course, it comes too late.
      I am an old man, even in your young body, and there are certain
      regrets which come with age.

      Before we blinked, it all was gone. Or rather, changed, although we
      refused to recognize the difference. We spoke of duty to the Cause
      and the need for peaceful resistance. Martyrdom shimmered in the
      air like oil under heat, and we were foolish enough to think we were
      ready for it.

      We pictured death and blood and glory: more blood than death, more
      glory than blood. We imagined we would stride out, heads held high,
      to meet the battle, we saw nothing but shining, clean-cut rows of
      truth, justice, and freedom. We lived or died by media fragments.

      (....bill passed....all known mutants....co-existence versus containment)

      But within a month, within two at the most, it was already rhetoric.
      We ceased to blister; we grew calluses instead: hard patches of
      accumulated dead skin and discarded idealism. The entire thing
      seemed surreal, and we almost believed it could have been
      Hollywood. Some grand special effects manipulation used to
      give a drowning president some breathing room; it'd been done
      before. Any moment some gold-plated producer would go public
      and blow the cover on the whole secret.

      There was no war. Ha, ha, the joke's on us.

      Such a revelation never came, although we waited. Never let it be said
      we were impatient with our denials. We had long acquired the arts of
      deception, certain subtleties used to silence all unwanted questions. It
      is no surprise, then, that we were shocked when the end hit us. An
      ambush, of course, an attack based not in the streets but in the genes.

      Of course, you already know the name and nature of the pathogen.
      The end result is no different now than before-- death. Violent,
      painful, ugly, death. To be fair, we tried to fight this as well. All stops
      were pulled out; all our best doctors worked themselves ragged
      searching for a cure. This is where I will bring your mother into the
      story, that you may know the kind of woman she was before we
      changed her. Before she became us.

      She was not effected by the virus; you may thank your father for
      this. His name was Logan-- in case you would like specifics-- and his
      healing abilities neutralized the pathogen's effect on his system. We
      gathered core samples of his genetic structure and attempted to
      synthesize some kind of inoculation against the virus. All our attempts
      to treat infected mutants with the vaccine failed. Miserably. Our
      people died around us and all we could do was wonder when we
      would be next. A matter of time, yes, perhaps as small as minutes.

      Within three weeks, everyone left in the mansion was infected.
      Jean first, then Scott, then it spread like wildfire. It was simple-- we
      were dying, your father and mother were not. Logan's immunity
      protected him and he passed it to her through her skin.

      (You will want to know if it hurt him; certainly it did. The first
      two times-- before he got her under control-- he died. Not for longer
      than five or ten minutes, but it was long enough to show us what
      we were dealing with.)

      Not that we didn't know anyway.

      You have no right to judge me until you have sat in my shoes and
      felt the suffering of watching your children die around you without
      any power to save them. I could not save the Cause. I could not
      even save myself; this was abundantly clear. There was, however, another
      option. A different sort of death.

      Once, long before the virus, Marie had accidentally absorbed the
      complete consciousness of a mutant by the name of Carol Danvers.
      There was a battle inside your mother's mind; she eventually gained
      control of the personality and assumed full range of Danvers' powers.
      This presented me with a decision to make. If I surrendered myself
      and my children to your mother, something of the X-men would
      be preserved. We would still exist, not in the flesh, but our minds and
      powers would be preserved full strength in her mind.

      It was salvation, you see, not just for us, but for everyone.
      If we were not there to fight, who would?

      No one.
      You must understand this above all else.

      It had to be done quickly, while those of us left alive were still strong
      enough for the procedure. Scott, Jean, Ororo, and myself all vowed
      to make the transfer. A tragic, justifiable sacrifice. What did we have
      to lose? We were dying anyway. We could not let the dream die with
      us.

      Your parents, however, did not share the view. She refused, and at
      the time I did not fully understand why. The disease had compromised
      my mental powers until the workings of her mind were clouded to
      me, unclear. Insubstantial. No such problem with Logan. He made
      himself abundantly clear.

      (No freakin' way. I'm not gonna stand by and let you gang-rape
      her mind just to save yer bloody Cause.)

      Later, I would ask myself if we would have done the same thing had
      we known why they refused.

      The answer is always yes.
      We were that desperate.

      Jean immobilized him before he could get the claws out; Scott
      took him down with a well-aimed blast. Not enough to kill-- we
      weren't murderers-- but enough to remove any threat of his
      interference. I did not want Marie to hurt herself in the struggle; I
      bent her mind just enough to force her to the floor and keep her in
      place until Scott was ready. He took her first, being the leader, his
      hands pressed to her face, his weight straddling her stomach to prevent
      her from moving away. Jean was next; it was an established fact that
      she would not want to survive any longer without Scott than absolutely
      necessary. She used her powers to lock Marie into place, to silence the
      protests (by this time it was a whisper anyway)

      Ororo stood in the corner and closed her eyes.

      And we poured ourselves into her, one by one by one.

      But this was not the worst. I did not realize what we had done until
      I myself touched her, until I felt my consciousness detach from my
      body and rush into hers.

      She was not alone.

      I found myself not inside Marie but inside a tiny, fragile consciousness
      within her. Your mind, child, but not a mind yet. Merely a blank
      space, waiting to be filled with the imprints of life, although this life
      was now threatened by the flood of foreign minds in your mother.
      Your sanity, if not your existence itself, would have been forfeit had I not
      intervened. I sheltered you from the others. I gave to you my
      complete essence, my Self, and begin from that moment to build
      in you a power so great that you would become the leader I had
      promised my people. You would win victory where the rest of us
      had met defeat. You would be my legacy, my legend. Our future.

      And have I not been a valued guardian? You were born with
      secrets some men die without knowing; by the age of four you spoke
      as a grown woman, and by six your mutations blossomed into
      their full power. Your father left you with super healing and your
      mother left you with the ability both to absorb and discharge energy
      through your skin. You, my dear girl, were the key. The antidote to the
      virus that decimated our people. Your touch could dispatch healing
      energy into the bodies of the sick; your blood held the raw materials
      needed for a successful vaccine.

      You are a girl of ten yet you are feared by humans and revered by
      mutants. You are acknowledge as a healer, as one who has sight
      beyond time. The militia leaders consult you before their battles.
      Thirteen death commandos surround you at all times, sworn to
      your life in blood. I have given you this. I have given you destiny,
      future, life.

      And in return, I took your parents from you.

      What else do you require of me?
      Further details? Answers? Justification?

      You have read too many history books, or perhaps you have not
      read enough. You expect a pattern. A theory, a line flowing from A
      (which is declaration of a just war) straight to Z (inevitably victory.)
      The truth is never that simple.

      Do not blame us for believing in a cause, for making sacrifices.
      You must understand....

      They were killing my children.
      So yes, we were ruthless.

      We had no choice.

      * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      I did not know whether to hate him or thank him.

      I cannot say I loved my mother; it was impossible to know who
      exactly I was supposed to love- which one of the Others I was
      to call mother. By the time I was born, Marie herself had disappeared.
      She surfaced, on rare occasions, for hours or perhaps days
      and these scant times were enough to make me miss what I knew
      I would never have.

      The Others, at least, tried to take her place. Scott taught me patience
      and military strategy. Jean whispered to me the secrets of beauty and the
      power of seduction. Carol taught me defiance and an intimate
      knowledge of heavy weaponry; Ororo gave me the ability to pick any
      lock and break into any facility. Charles stored the information for me;
      processed it, released it into my mind as he thought I needed it.
      The Others themselves passed down the secrets quickly, desperately,
      as if they sensed a running out of time.

      Four years, precisely.

      I woke up one morning to find my mother had left the compound,
      without a word to anyone. An unidentified soldier found her body two
      weeks later; it was obviously the virus. Whatever immunity my father
      had given to her had simply run its course. All I had left were the
      teachings of strangers (an odd form of inheritance) and a pair of old
      dog tags. She'd left the tags in an envelope for me. A last ditch effort, an
      attempt to prove to me she had once been someone. But who?

      It brought me to several questions for Charles.

      /Why didn't you allow me to foresee her death? I could have
      saved her from it./

      (Your gifts were not yet strong enough; exerting them early would
      only have served to risk a strain on your mind I could not allow.
      You were only four at the time; we had to be careful that you did not
      reach too far.)

      /Why didn't my father save her? If he loved her so much?/

      (You will have to ask Logan that.)

      /So he's alive?/

      We took a deep breath.

      (Yes.)

      /I haven't felt him?/

      (I have shielded you from it. I fear it would be painful for you, even
      now.)

      /Why?/

      (He is considered insane and is held in custody. He believes
      your mother is still alive, that he alone can see her and talk to her.)

      /I talk to her and they don't make me out to be nuts./

      (You are their Sayyadina. The Friend of God. You may say white
      is black and you will believe as long as you heal them of their disease.)

      /I will search him out and ask why he did not save his Marie, the
      one he claimed to love so much. And if he let her die, I will kill him.
      And he is not the only one I would kill....if I had the chance.../

      (Your thoughts are futile, Alia.)

      /Tell me of my thoughts./

      (To kill me would be to kill yourself.)

      /What do you think I was doing with the knife?/

      Silence.

      * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      I do not like this place.
      It has the death smell.

      Despite the outer benevolence-- the blue and purple pansies lining
      the sidewalk, the smiles on the faces of the orderlies, the yellow
      striped wallpaper in the foyer-- there is a sickening oppression in the
      air. A darkness that is only accented by the whitewashed halls and
      scrubbed tile floors, as if the excess sterility is meant to be a gag
      pressed over the mouth of the patients. Hiding their screaming,
      only I am beyond its effects. Charles and I can hear their souls,
      feel every shudder and wince of fractured minds.

      A certain taste comes to mind: wet, thick, rotted like old meat left
      in the rain. Slippery and pervasive.

      "The Sayyadina is disturbed."

      Feyd, the captain of my death guard-- twenty four years old, a fanatic
      and a killer and a pretty one at that-- moves his hand closer to the knife
      on his belt. The obvious weapon is a pretense, a deception of sorts. My
      Feyd needs no weapons; he can shatter objects with his voice. Mere
      words. This includes, among other things, human bone, which as you
      can imagine, comes in handy in a pinch. My distraction has put him
      on alert; I can sense the power riding the edge of his voice, a
      slight humming, like an electric charge has been activated. His eyes
      have darkened to total blue, an intense burning color that signals his
      mutation. The color suits him well; this pleases me.

      "It is the aura of the place." I tell him. "There is no danger."
      "If my lady says so."

      He agrees with me, of course, but I am not oblivious to his careful
      movement closer to my side. His hand falls next to mine, close enough
      for accidental meeting of fingertips if we swing our arms right. We take
      special care to do so. My beautiful Feyd. After my cycles come
      to me and make me a full woman, he will be the first I seek out.
      Or perhaps he will seek me; I have read his dreams, the desire
      is there. In his eyes, too, but bridled: Charles has promised them
      that the man who touches me before my time will die. He would
      use my skin against them, I know.

      Perhaps he thinks he is protecting me, but I do not think it fair.

      I have full knowledge of the ways of men with their women yet I
      sleep alone. At times, it is maddening. The worst is when we return to
      one of our compounds and the guard is given leave. I hold a degree
      of mental link with all of my men-- this allows oneness in battle and
      ultimate trust-- but I raise my shields when I sense the melting of
      their consciousness with their lovers. I could not deny them this even if
      I wanted to. They are all killers; killers need women frequently to
      maintain sanity. Charles taught me this. But Feyd is different. He does
      not seek out the women. He stands watch outside my door; sometimes
      he enters the room and stands over my bed when he thinks I am
      sleeping. His hands hover over my face, centimeters above my hands.
      Above my lips. Such delicate fingers, the fingers of a man who is good
      at close-quarter killing. Once, only once, he touched my hair.

      I cut off the curl and tied it around my mother's dogtags underneath
      my shirt. Right against the skin.

      Charles still does not approve.

      (He is a common soldier, Alia.)

      This is only the thousandth time he has reminded me.

      (Good for fighting and dying, if it comes to that. Perhaps even as
      a diversion, when you are older, perhaps even a lover. But not a
      mate. You have a duty to marry into power, you must--)

      /I know. Preserve the bloodline. Don't lecture me on duty. I
      will love whomever I please./

      (Your mother said that about your father once. Look where it got
      him.)

      /My mother didn't send him here; you did. You killed them both
      when you raped her mind./

      I end the conversation when we arrive at the administrator's office.

      Feyd halts with a tap on the wrist; our secret code-- the signal
      for caution. He told me once that the first step to evading a trap is
      knowing that there is one. This is the reason the rest of my commandos
      are spread throughout the building, on his orders. Establishing
      a presence, creating knowledge of any possible danger. But if this
      is a trap, I pity the man behind the door. I have seen my Feyd kill
      before; it is pleasant only for him.

      He knocks.

      "Come in."

      Feyd pushes the door open and I see a fat man in a white lab coat
      seated behind an oak desk. The nametag on his lapel reads Dr.
      J.R. Sebastian. His aura screams parasite. His pig-like eyes sweep me
      from head to toe in a mix of curiosity and something darker, but his
      words are addressed to Feyd. "If she's a patient, the children's office is
      down the hall--"

      "I am no patient, old man." I spit the words at him, and wish for the
      twentieth time this morning that I was not trapped in the body of a
      ten year old child. "I am here to visit a man called Logan."

      Dr. Parasite chuckles. His eyes crawl over me again, and I sense a
      thick gloating, a hunger, behind the stare. Repulsive. The good doctor
      best be careful; the stare is not unnoticed and Feyd's eyes only turn that
      color of blue when he desires to kill a man. The muscles in his
      knife hand quiver.

      "My dear child," the doctor says, the fat tongue flicking over his dry lips
      as he
      paused. "I doubt very much a pretty little girl like you would enjoy
      his company--"

      "Hold your tongue, fool." A growl; Feyd steps forward. The blue
      in his eyes crackles, the humming behind his voice increases until the
      objects on the desk begin to shake. "She is not a child. She is the
      Sayyadina, and you will do as she commands."

      Sebastian resembles a bloated fish; his skin has gone rubbery white,
      his mouth gaping. Sweat beading up along the thinning hairline..

      I am amused. Make him afraid some more, Feyd...

      (A leader does not delight in the misery of others.)

      C'mon, Charlie, do you always have to ruin the fun?

      /Thank you so much, Jimeny Cricket./

      "I am here to see the patient called Logan. I do not wish to wait
      anymore."

      I draw myself up to full height, remembering Jean's lessons on the
      presence of a woman. You must combine seduction with untouchable
      mystery and hold these attributes in tension so long as the powers of
      youth endure. Feyd watches out of the corner of his eye as I shift
      my body into position. A hidden smile rides the lines of his jaw.

      By the Goddess, I wish I had fullness of body instead of mere fullness
      of mind.

      (Distraction, Alia!!)

      Charles's voice gouges into the thought.

      (Focus on the doctor, open his mind. Command him! Never let
      your men do for you what you can do yourself.)

      I obey, grudgingly. The parasite's mind is grubby and flaccid, a
      sensation of wading through semi-solid grease.

      I will need a shower after we leave. Several, in fact.

      "Take me to him now."

      The doctor fidgets with his coat buttons. "My lady...ahhmmmm....
      you cannot....ahmm...speak to him."
      "Why not?" Increase the edge, fight the urge to laugh when he flinches.

      I doubt he'll call me a little girl again...

      "He is...ahhm...is sedated, my Lady....ummmm...quite heavily."
      "Why?"
      "Delusions, he...ahh...thought we were the...mmmm...enemy. Claimed,
      ah, claimed, ah, we had his...umm...mate. Killed t-ten of my...ahmmm..
      best men...before subdued."
      "Take me to him anyway."
      "My lady?"
      "Now!"

      He jumps, rolls of fat quivering, and reaches for the telephone to call
      an escort.

      Charles is pleased.

      (Well done, my dear. You manipulated his fear quite skillfully.)

      For a moment, I wonder why this makes us proud.



      "Do you wish me to accompany you?"

      Feyd lingers between me and the door, his eyes hovering on mine,
      twitching occasionally to glare at the orderlies standing to the side.

      "No. I will go alone."
      "At least allow me to scan the room."
      "I already have. Only one consciousness, asleep."
      "If he is the danger they say--"
      "He is in a coma."
      "Those can be faked."
      "I'd know the difference."

      He shakes his head.
      "Sayyadina--"
      "Wait for me, Feyd." I murmur, already moving past him to the door.

      Room 428.

      My father.


      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      End Part One.
      Stay Tuned for Part Two..

      Feedback or even Flame Throwers welcome. :)

      darkstar


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